Alabama Democratic Party Consultant Giles Perkins Dies at 51

Photo: Adams and Reese LLP

Giles Perkins, a lawyer and Democratic political consultant who helped guide U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’ campaign to victory in Alabama last year, has died. He was 51.

In a Monday statement, Jones mourned the loss of his dear friend. Jones said anyone who crossed paths with Perkins “saw his passion for making our state – and the entire South – the best version of itself.”

Perkins served as Jones’ campaign chairman and was among those who convinced him to enter the race to replace Jeff Sessions. He served as executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party in the 1990s and helped a number of Southern Democrats in their campaigns.

Jones sometimes referred to Perkins as “Yoda” because of the wisdom he dispensed. He released this statement:

“It is with great sadness today that Louise and I mourn the loss of our dear friend Giles Perkins, who had fought fiercely against cancer for several years. Giles was more than just an accomplished attorney, community activist and brilliant political advisor and strategist. He understood Alabama’s complicated history, but also had the vision to see what our collective future could hold if we worked together. Anyone who crossed paths with him, be it in politics or through his remarkable community service projects, saw his passion for making our state—and the entire South—the best version of itself. He challenged me constantly – so much so that I affectionately dubbed him ‘Yoda’ on the campaign trail last year. His tough love approach, and his ability to see the bigger picture, made me a better candidate and most certainly a better U.S. Senator. I will always cherish his friendship. To his wife Hillery, and their children Barton, Hugh and Beverly, Louise and I share our deepest condolences and our commitment to carry on his legacy by fighting for a brighter future for Alabama.”

Perkins had battled pancreatic cancer for several years.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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